Years of work building up the independence of a young woman with Down syndrome were instantly destroyed when she was raped by Faisal Ellahi, a court has heard.
At a sentencing hearing yesterday the victim’s mother said the family and support services had brought the woman, who is in her 20s, to the stage where she had a job, could travel on her own and could run errands for her mother.
“All that work was wiped out by such depravity,” she told the Central Criminal Court as her daughter watched via video-link from a room elsewhere in the Criminal Courts of Justice.
The victim became very upset as her mother read out a statement on her behalf outlining how they had to discuss giving her anti-HIV treatment after the attack.
A visibly moved Mr Justice Tony Hunt told the mother afterwards that it was very difficult to immediately respond to such a victim impact statement. He told her he would address it when he finalised sentence on 34-year-old Ellahi.
Mr Justice Hunt adjourned matters until Monday to hear further mitigation on behalf of Ellahi and said he would finalise his sentence a week or 10 days later.
He told Ellahi’s counsel that any prospect of a partially suspended sentence would be contingent on him agreeing to be deported to his native Pakistan on his release.
Ellahi was convicted in December of raping and sexually assaulting the woman after luring her back to his apartment when she became separated from her mother near their Dublin home.
In her victim impact statement, the woman’s mother said that, after the rape, her daughter began sleeping in her bed and would have night terrors. She also began suffering from seizures.
The symptoms abated after a while but returned in the run-up to the trial, the mother said.
The mother also read out a statement prepared by the victim which said: “I feel so scared at all times since he did that to me. I feel confused, angry and shocked. Sometimes I get flashbacks. I can’t go out on my own anymore because I am too scared.”
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